Crude prices rise on storm threat
Crude oil prices were higher as the National Hurricane Center said a new storm beginning to brew near Puerto Rico could strengthen and pose a threat to oil production in the Gulf of Mexico.
At about half an hour before the close of floor trade, August contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude were up 99 cents to $77.53 per barrel, while Brent crude gained 83 cents to $76.45 per barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.
With August WTI contracts expiring at the end of the trading day, September contracts were more active and had added 45 cents to $77.35 per barrel earlier in midday trade.
Gains also came ahead of tomorrow’s weekly US inventories report from the Energy Information Administration, which is expected t show a decline of about 1 million barrels in crude oil stockpiles last week.
Nymex August gasoline futures added 3 cents to $2.09 per gallon while August heating oil was up 2 cents to $2.07 per gallon and natural gas futures had gained 5 cents to $4.56 per million British thermal units.
Meanwhile, the retail price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the United States was down slightly overnight, to $2.719 per gallon on average nationally.
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